The Genetics of Sex and Its Consequences

  • Kenneth K. Kidd
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO, volume 2)


Males and females differ in many ways, but few attempts have ever been made to catalog the differences and even known differences are often overlooked. As pointed out by Shettles (1958) and Childs (1965), there is clear evidence that the female sex is the more vigorous, the male sex the more vulnerable. The life table data for the United States show that at every age males have a higher death rate than females (Table 1). At many ages, the male death rate is over twice that for females. Since this increased mortality occurs in young as well as adult males, it cannot be attributed entirely to greater social or physical stress experienced by men. Though such factors may be present, the underlying male weakness (in a health sense) seems to have a biological basis that is not well understood, though it is well documented.


Ankylose Spondylitis Spina Bifida Turner Syndrome Pyloric Stenosis Color Blindness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth K. Kidd
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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